|−|A succession of empires which ruled the Iranian plateau. In 1935 the name Persia was changed simply to [[ Iran]]. |+|
the the to [].
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|−|The Persians controlled a vast amount of territory, including most of the [[Middle East]], [[Turkey]] and a portion of Northern [[Africa]]- -primarily under [[Cyrus the Great]]. Accordingly, the Persian empire was one of the first great empires of the world. They were unstoppable and greatly feared until [[Alexander the Great]] conquered them and far more. |+|
-the of the and the . After a with the that , the and Persian in in A.D.
[[Alexander the Great]] died, Parthians (based in modern-day Iran) tried unsuccessfully to reestablish the Persian empire. But their past greatness was not achieved again. They could not withstand the [[Roman]] army, which conquered it in A.D. 226. |+|
|−|Afterwards, a Persian noble named Ardashir seized power by killing the Parthian king, and established the Sassanid empire along with the official state religion of [[Zoroastrianism]], a polytheistic [[religion]] that had a creator (Ahuramazda) and a sun-god ([[Mithra]]). This religion was essentially limited to Persians. It made no attempt to convert others and it tolerated other religions in the region like Judaism. Its greatest king was Shapure II (A.D. 309-379), who beat back the weakening Romans and also extended Persian power towards [[China]]. This empire remained in control of Persia until [[Muslim]]s took control of the region in A.D. 651. |+|
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Revision as of 23:58, 7 May 2007
The Persian Empire in Antiquity was the largest geographical empire ever seen until that time, at its height stretching from India all the way into southern Europe and down to Egypt -- primarily under Cyrus the Great. Coming into being in 539 B.C. with the defeat of the Babylonian Empire, it continued until it was conquered and largely absorbed by Alexander the Great in only a few short years and completed by 330 B.C. The Persian Empire and several of its rulers are discussed in the Bible both in the book of Daniel and the book of Ester.
A later Persian Empire re-emerged in the later period of the Roman Empire and outlived the Western Roman Empire. After a devasting war with the Byzantine Empire that left both sides severly drained, Islam came on the scene from Saudi Arabia and completely conquered the Persian Empire in a quick campaign that ended in 651 A.D.